Abstract In this paper, thermal performance analysis of 20 m2 prototype fuzzy focal solar dish collector is presented. The focal image characteristics of the solar dish are determined to propose the suitable design of absorber/receiver. First, theoretical thermal performance analysis of the fuzzy focal solar parabolic dish concentrator with modified cavity receiver is carried out for different operating conditions. Based on the theoretical performance analysis, the total heat loss (conduction, convection and radiation heat losses) from the modified cavity receiver is estimated. It is observed that the maximum theoretical efficiencies of solar dish collector are found to be as 79.2% for no wind conditions and 78.2% and 77.8% for side-on and head-on winds speed of 5 m/s respectively. Latter, real time analysis of parabolic dish collector with modified cavity receiver is carried out in terms of stagnation test, time constant test and daily performance test. From stagnation test, the overall heat loss coefficient is found to be 356 W/m2 K. The time constant test is carried out to determine the influence of sudden change in solar radiation at steady state conditions. The daily performance tests are conducted for different flow rates. It is found that the efficiency of the collector increases with the increase of volume flow rates. The average thermal efficiencies of the parabolic dish collector for the volume flow rate of 100 L/h and 250 L/h are found to be 69% and 74% for the average beam radiation (Ibn) of 532 W/m2 and 641 W/m2 respectively.